When you think of the word you likely imagine diffusers puffing out little wisps of yummy smelling oils. While this is 100% correct there is so much more to it.
It is the actual chemistry of the aromatic glands of each plant that gives us these oils in the first place. They are gently and carefully extracted leaving us with those tiny amber bottles of healthy goodness.
Essential oils can evoke memories, calm our nervous system, excite the glands in our brain, and more importantly can be used to gently manipulate our flight and fight hormones.
When used properly, essential oils can improve our day-to-day life by helping us sleep better, calm our anxiety, help to balance our hormones, help us improve concentration & memory recall, give relief to headaches, cleanse our homes and the air we breathe, and yes even give us healthier skin!
Smell- The sense of smell is our most primal of all of our senses and is a direct link to the oldest and deepest parts of the brain. When we breathe in aromatic molecules, this can trigger fight or flight responses as well as trigger the release of calming and "happy" hormone excretions. As we breathe in the scents of the essential oils, emotional and even physical responses can be brought forward, while many allow vivid memory recall of people, places, and experiences we've had.
Think about when you smell apple pie or gingerbread cookies ... For me, this smell takes me back to my moms kitchen (These were happy times!). For others, this may illicit a trauma response depending on our emotional memory.
Absorption- Another effective way that aromatherapy works is through the inhalation of the essential oils which then travels internally and absorbed. This is especially effective within the respiratory system as their antibacterial and antiviral properties make them ideal for maintaining a healthy respiratory system. This includes the sinuses, throat, and chest and to help relieve symptoms of infections and allergies.
The Skin- The molecules of essentials oils are small enough to allow them to penetrate through the skin. The tiny molecules travel through all the layers of the skin and to the blood vessels allowing them to circulate through to all of the body's systems and areas.
Most essential oils have antibacterial properties; some are antiviral, and/or anti-inflammatory. Essential oils also contain antioxidants which help to prevent cell damage and protect against the build up of toxic waste in skin cells, thereby helping reduce signs of aging. For this reason, all our signature skincare is based in aromatherapy.
Once the essential oils enter the bloodstream they can be carried to all areas of your body! They reach areas with a good network of blood vessels more quickly. For example, the liver, kidneys, and some of the larger muscle groups making essential oils wonderful for treating pain and inflammation.
The other thing we, as aromatherapists study, are the carrier oils and butters. Each carrier (these are the butters and oils we use to dilute our essential oils) have their own therapeutic & unique properties that go along with the aromatics that we blend & recommend. This is especially important when applying to the skin or in a bath/body oil. We can explore this later on in a different series.
Now that we know a little bit more about Aromatherapy, next week we will be exploring Anxiety and how essential oils can help us navigate our way through this storm that so many suffer with.
Together in Wellness – Kelly xo
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